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Question: Is the CompTIA A+ Certification Worth the Money?
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Entscheidungsproblem
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« on: January 15, 2009, 02:45:20 AM »

I have taken what would be equivalent to the 'course work' recommended for it, so I was looking into taking the 220-061 and 220-062 exams.  Will being A+ certified really help me (even if it just means getting some technician summer positions) or is it a waste of money?
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« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2009, 09:04:31 AM »

I've never had a job in that area of IT, but what I understand is the A+ won't get you much more than the type of job you describe. So, it's up to you what your short- and long-term goals are. (For example, I am a Cisco network consultant and the A+ is viewed as an "oh, that's nice" certification, but not one that would get your foot in the door, but it may be different in the computer hardware/repair field.)
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« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2009, 07:09:38 PM »

It depends on where you take it I guess. Actually I think you can teach it to yourself, and take the A+ test for I think $300, and if you pass, you get certified.
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« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2009, 07:43:23 PM »

Thank you both for your responses.  I'm looking into it mostly to help get a techie job in the summer and since I have already gone over the material.  After I graduate (and for some, after some experience), I can look into my Cisco, Microsoft and IBM i Series certifications.
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« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2009, 03:48:01 AM »

Cisco! Yeah!
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« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2009, 09:03:11 AM »

Cisco! Yeah!

My bread and butter Cheesy
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« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2009, 02:19:15 PM »


Wow!  You guys are SMART!

I'm afraid of CISCO.  I'm still getting my MCSE for 2003.  I have 2000, but, I have two more tests to complete for 2003.... I'll be done with it just in time to begin studying for the next one!  Of course, I've been working on it for too long.  It seems life gets in the way of studying!  Too many things on ones plate.  Need to re-prioritize.  Certs look good on the resume, and with today's economy, it's important to have an impressive one.

I looked at the A+ certification when I entered the IT field.  I never took the test, however, the material is GOOD to know.  Even though you are working with software, networking, server administration, etc., it's good to know how the hardware actually works, and not be afraid to add RAM or memory, etc.  Plus, it's good to know that the little drawer that pops out truly is NOT a cupholder!  :-P



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« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2009, 02:24:08 PM »


Mine too Smiley I don't get paid to run around rural areas in North Carolina starting churches Wink
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« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2009, 06:09:08 PM »

It's good to know not to let your ram get on carpet (lost one and a half gigs to that)
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« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2009, 06:12:03 PM »


 Shocked

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« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2009, 06:26:16 PM »

to go in the lab we had to take a test about static. You lost ram; imagine what would happen if you lost a 100k piece of equipment due to static Smiley
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« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2009, 09:36:58 PM »

to go in the lab we had to take a test about static. You lost ram; imagine what would happen if you lost a 100k piece of equipment due to static Smiley

You'd also lose your job.

Father, what exactly do you do for a living? You've got me curious Cheesy
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« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2009, 09:39:53 PM »

I looked at the A+ certification when I entered the IT field.  I never took the test, however, the material is GOOD to know.  Even though you are working with software, networking, server administration, etc., it's good to know how the hardware actually works, and not be afraid to add RAM or memory, etc.

This is true. I didn't mean to say the material wasn't good and useful (because it is, especially in IT), I just meant that no one will look at the A+ and say "Man, we HAVE to hire this guy."

Plus, it's good to know that the little drawer that pops out truly is NOT a cupholder!  :-P

Cheesy I wonder if that's even a true story. I hope it is.
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« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2009, 10:27:14 PM »

to go in the lab we had to take a test about static. You lost ram; imagine what would happen if you lost a 100k piece of equipment due to static Smiley

You'd also lose your job.

Father, what exactly do you do for a living? You've got me curious Cheesy

I'm a Network Consulting Engineer at Cisco supporting a Voice account.
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« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2009, 01:08:46 AM »

I'm a Network Consulting Engineer at Cisco supporting a Voice account.

Interesting. I work for a Cisco VAR and my main areas of focus are route/switch networking and voice. Small world.
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« Reply #15 on: January 17, 2009, 02:05:57 AM »

to go in the lab we had to take a test about static. You lost ram; imagine what would happen if you lost a 100k piece of equipment due to static Smiley
Or wiped out all the data on a high-volume Linux server with one simple command.  I heard of someone who did that.
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« Reply #16 on: January 20, 2009, 07:23:19 PM »

It depends on what you want to do. If you dream of working at the help desk or being a computer repair technician, then it could be a valuable supplement. It may tip the scales your way if you are going for a technician's job and its between you and the other guy - all other things being equal if you have the A+ and he doesn't you'll probably get the job.

But, a certificate alone will not get you a job. My CCNA didn't do anything for me but take up space on my wall. The employers wanted a degree (which I'll have soon). And for what I want to do now, systems programming, etc. - certificates aren't of much use.

The material on the A+ is good to know if you are a technician, but it isn't all that in depth. I look back at the A+ study book I bought some 8-10 years ago when I contemplated the technician field and I laugh at some of the material. And even back then, some of the material was useless. Really, how often does someone have a bad motherboard and your going to solder on some new resistors (if you can see them)?! So does it really matter, other than being nice to know, if you can correctly identify the capacity based on the colored markings?
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« Reply #17 on: January 20, 2009, 07:26:00 PM »

to go in the lab we had to take a test about static. You lost ram; imagine what would happen if you lost a 100k piece of equipment due to static Smiley
Or wiped out all the data on a high-volume Linux server with one simple command.  I heard of someone who did that.

Yes, it has happened more than once. If you are on a UNIX-like system - never type this: 
rm -rf /
  Shocked
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« Reply #18 on: January 20, 2009, 07:29:15 PM »

It depends on where you take it I guess. Actually I think you can teach it to yourself, and take the A+ test for I think $300, and if you pass, you get certified.

$300 !!!

That is a lot compared to the potential benefit. Really, how much additional earning potential will this certificate provide? (wait as I try to remember the formulas from by business courses -- it could be a long wait  Grin)
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« Reply #19 on: January 20, 2009, 07:30:04 PM »

Quote
rm -rf /

Hehe, this is why batch and shell files are so dangerous. I once deleted all my drivers on Windows using dos (just to see if I could). At least Unix offers some protection with making you login as root.
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« Reply #20 on: January 20, 2009, 08:15:07 PM »

Quote
rm -rf /

Hehe, this is why batch and shell files are so dangerous. I once deleted all my drivers on Windows using dos (just to see if I could). At least Unix offers some protection with making you login as root.

But, that doesn't protect you from obliterating your home! If you are really cautious or timid, your best bet is to set up shell aliases or setting rmstar (tcsh). Me, I like living life on the edge (plus I backup). Wink
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« Reply #21 on: January 20, 2009, 08:18:34 PM »

Quote
rm -rf /

Hehe, this is why batch and shell files are so dangerous. I once deleted all my drivers on Windows using dos (just to see if I could). At least Unix offers some protection with making you login as root.

Note: I once -- with full intent and purpose -- logged in, su, and rm -rf /

Why did I do such a crazy thing (besides being an odd fellow)? Because I wanted to see what it would do -- and I was installing a new OS (I think I was just upgrading to a new version of Slackware at the time, but I can't remember fully).
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« Reply #22 on: January 20, 2009, 08:50:23 PM »

Cool, I think I've also destroyed my OS a couple times with unique batch and shell commands!
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« Reply #23 on: January 21, 2009, 12:27:25 AM »



But, a certificate alone will not get you a job. My CCNA didn't do anything for me but take up space on my wall. The employers wanted a degree (which I'll have soon). And for what I want to do now, systems programming, etc. - certificates aren't of much use.

Your experience is interesting to me. I'm surprised that the employers you had encountered wanted a degree.  I don't find that many of the people I work with have a formal networking background at all.  Although I think I am on the other extreme in that I am one of the only people ever hired with a degree in political science and another in divinity Wink

The reluctance to just consider a certification of CCNA might be due to how easy it is to pass that test with the cheats available online; but if one has a CCIE (the lab) that pretty much would guarantee you a job, degree or not.
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« Reply #24 on: January 22, 2009, 07:25:28 PM »

Your experience is interesting to me. I'm surprised that the employers you had encountered wanted a degree.  I don't find that many of the people I work with have a formal networking background at all.  Although I think I am on the other extreme in that I am one of the only people ever hired with a degree in political science and another in divinity Wink

The reluctance to just consider a certification of CCNA might be due to how easy it is to pass that test with the cheats available online; but if one has a CCIE (the lab) that pretty much would guarantee you a job, degree or not.

They said they wanted either a degree or 2 or 5 years experience (it varied from employer to employer). And they didn't consider my college education and certificate experience enough.

Yeah, the CCNA was easy enough to pass -- though I didn't do that well since I was fairly nervous. The CCIE is, from what I was told, way too expensive for me to take. But the CCNP may have been more competitive. Either way, my CCNA expired back in 2006 (not to date myself).

Now, like I mentioned, I'm more interested in systems programming type of work, which is what I'm finishing up my C.S. degree for. I'm hopeful to graduate next spring (2010) with my B.S. degree.

Wow. It would be cool to work with an ordained Priest on the job! Though, I don't know how much work I'd get done -- I'd always want to talk about theology, piety, etc. Grin I have and do work with Protestant ministers, but it's hard to hold a conversation with them because the ones I've worked with are usually the "Pope is the antichrist" type or the "it doesn't matter what you believe, let's just sit in a peace circle and sing kumbaya" type. The latter are by far more entertaining. Tongue
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« Reply #25 on: January 22, 2009, 09:40:25 PM »

I was a System Engineer for 6 years.  I worked with CISCO, Novell, Sun and other hardware without certification.  My supervisor was a MCSE but he didn't have a Master in Engineering Degree.

I read through the COMPTIA review books and who cares what Token Ring is when hardly anyone uses it.  I doubt that Best Buy's Geek Squad has a clue about Token Ring although they will charge 10x if they have to figure it out.   Wink
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« Reply #26 on: January 22, 2009, 10:02:55 PM »

I'm always surprised (and relieved) to see other good Catholics and Orthodox engaged in the computer field. At least online -- I haven't met any in real life. Sad It seems wherever I turn, everyone in the computer field is a raving and mocking anti-religious -- the kind that would make Bill Maher proud. I don't what is it about the computer field that attracts such a disproportionately large number of such individuals?
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« Reply #27 on: January 23, 2009, 11:03:07 AM »


...well, my experience in the computer field for the past 10 years has been dealing more with Hindus and Muslims then any other faith.  The majority of the technical jobs have gone to Indians and Pakistanis.  While they are educated in the field, holding a theological conversation proves interesting.

Of course, there's more "in common" with the Muslims, however, there's many things that are NOT in common and lead to heated conversations.

The Hindus are interesting in that you can get them going easily by asking just "how many gods" they pray to.  Some will say there are thousands, some say hundreds and one actually said "one".  Then you sit back and watch them argue the point amongst themselves.

The one Baptist I worked with was also interested, because he and I would go for hours about "predestination"....and when he grumbled about something not going right, I would then tell him not to be upset that the screw fell down behind the hard drive and is next to impossible to retrieve...because after all, that's what God wanted to happen.  He was of the opinion that EVERY little thing was predestined. 

Unfortunately, the ONE and only Orthodox I came across, was not really interested in the Faith.  He only attended church on holidays (maybe), but, mostly for weddings and baptisms.  It amazed me that this person was the one chosen to be the godfather, in most cases, when he didn't know the basics of the Faith.

As for working with an ordained Orthodox priest....I think I would be too nervous!  I get all nervous around clergy....afraid I'll say or do something wrong.  I would be the one dropping the screws all over the place!

:-)

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« Reply #28 on: January 23, 2009, 04:23:22 PM »

^ In my line of work, I very rarely talked about religion while I also worked with Muslims, Hindis, Jews, Hippies, et al.

The only meaningful religious discussion I had was with the Hippie, a lapsed Roman Catholic.  We spent most the time talking over each other.   Sad
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